NORTHPORT continued its winning ways, defeating Magnolia, 102-99, on Wednesday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier won their second straight game to again join Blackwater at the top of the team standings on 5-1 win-loss records, extending the best start in franchise history.
Heroes were aplenty for NorthPort with seven players scoring in double figures as the Batang Pier completed a sweep of the finalists from the last Philippine Cup.
The Batang Pier, who beat San Miguel the last time out, led by as many as 16 points but had to weather a last-minute comeback by Magnolia to deal its opponent its second loss in as many games.
“Willingness at ‘yung desire, nandoon. ‘Yun ang importante sa team ngayon,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio. “We are not giving up, we are limiting teams, ‘yung scoring hindi umabot ng 100. Basta kami, ang goal namin is dumating sa playoff.”
Sean Anthony had nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to help seal the win. Paolo Taha added 16 including back-to-back baskets that put NorthPort ahead, 96-86.
Mo Tautuaa contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds while Jonathan Grey added 14 points, including five points to start off an 11-0 run that broke the game open, 59-45.
Ian Sangalang had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Hotshots, who got 11 points, 14 rebounds, and four steals from new import James Farr.
NorthPort 102 – Anthony 22, Taha 16, Tautuaa 14, Grey 14, Elorde 12, Bolick 11, Ibeh 10, Lanete 3, Gabayni 0.
Magnolia 99 – Sangalang 21, Herndon 18, Lee 16, Barroca 14, Farr 11, Jalalon 7, Brondial 5, Ramos 3, Melton 2, Dela Rosa 2, Pascual 0.
Quarters: 16-23; 48-43; 70-62; 102-99.